A doctor told Nathan’s parents that they had three options for their newborn son: a) to institutionalise him, b) to adopt him out, or c) to take him home. Recounting the story twenty-four years later to a crowded room at the Living the Dream Conference, Nathan asked a stark question: “How is it that someone can categorise a life like that?”
His parents’ decision to take him home, Nathan says, changed the course of his life and “enabled [him] to live a life full of potential… a life filled with happiness, creativity and contentment.”
The question he asked that night continues to drive Nathan to push the boundaries for people with Down syndrome and intellectual disability.
For close to a decade, Nathan has dedicated a great deal of time, energy and passion delivering one clear message in Australia and overseas: people with disability should have the same chance for a life of work, friends, family and a place to call home as everyone else. Nathan’s honest, heartfelt presentations inspire people with and without disability to have higher expectations for their own lives and to recognise the inherent potential in others.
Nathan makes an important point about people, like himself, living with disability: “I might have Down syndrome, but that is not who I am.”
Nathan’s own life is the perfect example of pushing the boundaries. He is a filmmaker, works at the prominent radio station Nova 96.9, and is an employee of Taste Creative. He is also the current ambassador for Bus Stop Films.
From 2013 to 2016, Nathan was Living Life My Way Ambassador, selected by the Minister for Disability NSW because of his track record of leadership, influence and inspiration. In 2014, Nathan was one of four finalists for the Young People’s Human Rights Medal and a NSW finalist for Young Australian of the Year, 2016.
In addition to his motivational speaking engagements and campaigning, Nathan has turned his attention to the corporate sector; determined to bring about changes in attitude to employing people with intellectual disability. The current statistics are poor. With only eight percent of people with intellectual disability employed in the open labour market in Australia (Australia ranks 21 out of 29 of OECD countries for labour force participation of people with disability), Nathan has committed to campaigning and spreading his message until real change occurs.
Nathan will appear as event ambassador at the Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo‘s opening ceremony and throughout the day on Friday, May 21. Entry to the expo is FREE for all attendees. Register online for fast access on the day and follow the Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo Facebook page and our events guide for regular updates.
Friday and Saturday, 21 and 22 May from 9 am to 3 pm, Newcastle Entertainment Centre:
- Opening Ceremony begins on Friday, 21 May, 11 am
- Stage performances by all-ability performance groups
- Heaps of entertainment
- A range of expert speakers
- Workshops and demo spaces
- Over 120 exhibitors
For more information about Nathan Basha
About Social Impact Institute
In a series of disability and seniors expos across Australia, Social Impact Institute facilitates greater access to product and service providers, government agencies and advocacy groups. We are proud that our expos have enabled thousands of Australian seniors and people living with disability to gain greater control over their lives.